Can Physical Therapy Help Heal Plantar Fasciitis?
By: Brian Watson, DPT
“Plantar” refers to the sole or bottom of the foot. “Plantar fascia” is a type of tissue; called fascia that provides support to the arch of the foot as the thick band connects from your heel to the base of your toes. “-itis” refers to inflammation which is a naturally occurring response from the body when fighting off an infection or; in this case, is a part of the healing process of injured tissue. Together we have inflammation of the injured band of tissue that supports the arch at the bottom of our foot.
What are some of the risk factors associated with developing plantar fasciitis? Several factors increase the risk of developing plantar fasciitis. Most of the factors have the common characteristic of placing increased stress on the plantar fascia such as obesity, exercises you participate in that involve running and jumping (e.g. long-distance running, aerobic dance, etc.), jobs you participate in that involve prolonged standing/walking (e.g. teachers, warehouse workers, etc.), the form/shape of your foot (e.g. high arch or flat feet), and the pattern of how you walk or run.